Seeking more info on Peace Corps options and similiar organizations

I have come to a decision which I hope will be productive. I have contacted The Peace Corps and one similar organization about volunteer opportunities overseas. As I do more research I am sure others will present themselves. I would like to work in Asia or South Asia as far as India. This is the market segment that seems to be the most active in both Medical tourism and with Spa Tourism. I would consider South America and Africa if there was an opportunity to work in an Eco tourism center.

I have heard some ‘rumors’ about how rough it can be. That said, I am fortunate to have an Uncle who retired from the State Department who can ask around for me about the most well recognized organizations. If anyone has any additional suggestions please comment below and wish me luck! Apparently, the wait to be accepted can take quite a while. Also, I have to apply for my passport again and find three people willing to vouch for my character. The Peace Corps itself has a scholarship program for those who enter graduate school AFTER volunteering. So…I may be putting off grad school for a bit.

Given that I do have a small business idea I need to incubate, I think this would be a great way to prepare and to focus on essentials.

Be Well Everyone!


Chakra of the Week: Swadhisthana


Sacral chakra

The sacral chakra, known as the Swadhisthana in Sanskrit means ‘one’s own abode’ or place of residence. Swadhisthana chakra is associated with seeking pleasure and security.

Location – abdomen
Sanskrit Name – Swadhisthana
Color – orange
Element – Water
Mantra – Vam
Mind – creativity
Emotion – enthusiasm
Spirit – passion


Support sacral chakra balance with the following:

Creating a warming atmosphere with this diffusion will help you awaken the sacral chakra to create strength and balance.

•6 drops neroli essential oil
•3 drops mandarin orange essential oil
•1 drop cinnamon leaf essential oil


Blend oils, then add to 1/4 cup water in a diffuser.  Breathe in this spicy sweet aroma to enhance sensuality.

Alternative names in different Traditions

Tantra: Adhishthana, Bhima, Shatpatra, Skaddala Padma, Swadhishthana, Wari Chakra

Vedas (late Upanishads): Medhra, Swadhishthana

Puranic: Swadhishthana

* This information is for reference only and is not intended as a substitute for spiritual or philosophical instruction.



Gems of Yoga

Isha Foundation

Wisdom Library

Updated AGAIN! Jane Buckle PhD, RN misquoted and referenced by Young Living Esential Oils Conference

Author of Clinical Aromatherapy, Jane Buckle, PhD, RN recently learned that her published work had been misrepresented by Young Living Essential Oils at a recent conference in Utah. While her response is on the picture that accompanies this post1 Aromatherapy and is big enough to read above, additional notes by Gabriel Mojay about the research snafu are below:

  • 1″. Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is mentioned only once in Jane’s book, and not in relation to toxicity or safety. ‘Essential Oil Safety’ by Tisserand & Young states that Ocimum basilicum ct estragole essential oil should not be taken in oral doses.”

2. “Clove is indeed mentioned on p78 of her book — in the context of a referenced case of oral ingestion in which 5-10 ml resulted in seizure and coma. 25 ml, as quoted by Young Living, would possibly be fatal. “

3. “Hyssop is also mentioned on p78, with reference to a case of oral ingestion in which 10-20 ml resulted in convulsions — not just vomiting, as Young Living suggests.”

4. “Oregano is mentioned three times in Jane’s book, but not once in relation to toxicity or safety. According to ‘Essential Oil Safety’, oral doses of Origanum vulgare essential oil are contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding, diabetic medication, anticoagulant medication, major surgery, peptic ulcer, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders.”

5. “Sage is mentioned three times in Jane’s book, but not with respect to toxicity or safety. According to ‘Essential Oil Safety’, Salvia officinalis essential oil should not be taken in oral doses.”

6. “Wintergreen is mentioned on three pages in Jane’s book, but not specifically in relation to oral toxicity. According to ‘Essential Oil Safety’, oral doses of Gaultheria fragrantissima syn. G. procumbens essential oil are contraindicated in pregnancy and breastfeeding, anticoagulant medication, major surgery, hemophilia, and other bleeding disorders. The dosage quoted by Young Living as somehow ‘safe’ is almost 50% greater than the maximum adult daily oral dose recommended by Tisserand & Young.

I posted this article on July 5th, 2014.

I didn’t think much about it but did share the article on Facebook with various groups and on my own timeline and professional page. To be honest, from a small business standpoint, lots of small businesses carry Young Living Essential Oils. But this is not all about money. While I have never used this product or worked with it in a professional capacity in a Spa, I will say that Jane Buckle’s response lacks nuance and depth for several reasons.

  • This may be a simple matter of inappropriate preparation and presentation for a conference. When this became known and public, the appropriate business and ethical response would be to issue a press release, note the error and issue a correction. No harm – No foul. So far, Young Living has not responded to my knowledge and the blogosphere, including me, may need to double check our facts before picking up strange memes on Facebook! Time will tell.
  • While Jane is entitled to defend the integrity of her own work, copyright, authorship and research, the attitude her comment displays is not the best way to address the issue of research literacy both in the mainstream medical community or in the alternative health and wellness community. Obviously, just because Jane Buckle is an author does not make her an educator or a teacher and frankly, this shows in her comments. That said, I have known a number of nurses over the years with varying degrees of academics behind them. I would not put it past any of them to run thru a crowded theatre yelling “Fire!”. If research  was truly adhered to by MD’s and RN’s among many others, there would not be such an emphasis on Evidence Based Practices being adopted across the board by the Health Care Industry. Forgive me Jane, but as a graduate student in Health Care Administration, your pride is showing.
  • Young Living needs to issue a Press Release. That is just basic professional industry conduct and ethics. Period.

Young Living Essential Oils did respond to this blog post. They included this post in their July 6th, 2014 Twitter newsletter. While it’s not the correction that I am sure Jane Buckle would like to see in print, they clearly are not hiding the mistake from their distributors or customers and clearly have no problem with the notes and corrections made by educator Gabriel Mojay. I didn’t intend to ride Jane’s thunder but got a free ride! For a humble blogger and would be grad student, having a Facebook meme get featured in a well known companies newsletter is flattering! Thank you Young Living Essential Oils!

The detailed notes citing the errors at the conference were made by Gabriel Mojay
The Institute of Traditional Herbal Medicine & Aromatherapy

Tumeric: How and Why to take Tumeric as a Home Remedy


I recently wrote this article as a freelance assignment. I hope I am not violating my non-disclosure agreement my publishing it on my own website. I am going to put it here for the time being…but I do need to review the terms I agreed too not that long ago! In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this post. I may have to take in down in a few hours!

Tumeric: How and Why to take Tumeric as a Home Remedy


The Queen of Spices

Tumeric is a member of the zingiberaceae family or the ginger family of flowering plants. The Ginger family consists of aromatic perennial herbs with creeping horizontal or tuberous rhizomes or roots. More specifically, it is derived from the roots of Curcuma longa. The ginger family of flowering plants is spread across tropical Asia, Africa and the Americas.

In order to obtain spice from Tumeric rhizomes or roots, the roots are boiled between 30 and 45 minutes and then dried. They are then ground down into a powder form, from where they are added to various condiments for color and taste. Spices such as Tumeric help you cut back on unhealthy ingredients, such as salt, sugars and saturated fat.

India is the primary producer of Tumeric and there the spice is known by regional names. The main botanical ingredient in turmeric is curcumin. It is curcumin that creates the dark golden color associated with Tumeric. The taste is slightly bitter and has a mustard aroma. Turmeric has historically been used as both a culinary spice and a dyeing agent. It is considered scared and has been used in Hindu and Buddhist ceremonial practices and traditional medicines for millennia.

How to use Tumeric for Health

Turmeric is available in the following forms:

  • Capsules containing powder
  • Fluid extract
  • Tincture

Dosages for Adults

The following are doses recommended for adults:

  • Cut root: 1.5 – 3 g per day
  • Dried, powdered root: 1 – 3 g per day
  • Standardized powder (curcumin): 400 – 600 mg, 3 times per day
  • Fluid extract (1:1) 30 – 90 drops a day
  • Tincture (1:2): 15 – 30 drops, 4 times per day

Dosages of Tumeric have not been studied in children.

What medical and health conditions can be affected by adding Tumeric to your diet?


  • A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry just this year, demonstrated that Tumeric was effective in combating the onset of Type II Diabetes in prediabetic patients along with the related and deadly comorbid illness, atherosclerotic heart disease.
  • In countries where Tumeric is consumed regularly, there are lower incidents of Alzheimer’s disease and a small number of studies have shown that consuming Tumeric may slow the progression of the disease.
  • It has been demonstrated that consuming Tumeric on a regular basis can alleviate mild arthritis pain.
  • Tumeric can help moderate insulin levels according to a handful of studies and may help these medications work more effectively.
  • Ulcerative colitis studies found Tumeric was more effective than placebo when used alongside traditional medical treatments. Those who took Tumeric for six months after they went into remission had a much lower relapse rate than those who took placebo.
  • Tumeric has been found to provide protection and wound healing benefits for burns, cuts and other such injuries.
  • The antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral effects of turmeric indicate that it can boost the immune system to fight colds and other viral infections because of a key ingredient called lipopolysaccharide.
  • Indigestion or Dyspepsia.
  • Assists the detoxification of the liver by increasing circulation and the production of enzymes.
  • Tumeric increases the flow of bile, which is important in breaking down fat. If you’re looking to loose weight, adding a teaspoon of Tumeric before a meal will help your metabolism maximize your fat burning potential.
  • Turmeric is a rich source of vitamins C, E and B6, and minerals such as potassium and iron.
  • Tumeric has been demonstrated to inhibit the growth of colon cancer cells.   and


Pregnancy and Breast Feeding: Taking turmeric by mouth in large quantities is UNSAFE during pregnancy. Tumeric consumed in food however is fine. Medicinal dosages may trigger a menstrual period or stimulate the uterus. Don’t take turmeric for medicinal purposes if you are pregnant. Gallbladder problems: Don’t use turmeric if you have gallstones or a bile duct obstruction as Tumeric has been demonstrated to increase the flow of bile. Defer to your primary care physician. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Turmeric can cause stomach upset in some people. It might make stomach problems such as GERD worse. Surgery: Turmeric may slow blood clotting and cause excess bleeding during and after surgery. Stop using turmeric at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Diabetes: Turmeric may lower blood sugar levels, and when combined with medications for diabetes could cause hypoglycemia. Check with your physician before adding Tumeric supplements to your diet.

Other ways to benefit from Tumeric Turmeric is a preservative. Scientists from Gujarat found that adding turmeric to cottage cheese extends the shelf life up to 12 days. Turmeric is a great pesticide. Sprinkle turmeric powder water near all the entry points of your house to ward of insects, ants, and termites. Drinking turmeric tea may increase your life span.

I saw this Indian recipe for Tumeric Tea:

  • One teaspoon of Tumeric powder
  • 4 cups of boiling water
  • Honey to Taste


Alternatively, you can mix the Tumeric with honey to form a paste and then place some in the bottom of your favorite tea cup or coffee mug. Stir to dissolve the paste. This may be a better choice for those who want a realistic taste of Tumeric Tea and who may have more adventurous taste buds.

  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons dried turmeric or turmeric powder
  • dash of lemon
  • freshly ground white pepper for an additional kick

Culinary uses for Tumeric

There is often a culinary angle to every herb or spice! While there are three standard ways to add medicinal turmeric to your diet, it’s more tasty, fun and adventuresome to boost your intake by including it in your favorite recipes.Tumeric is the key ingredient in most South Asian curry powders where it is often found in sweet dishes and fish curries. In Morocco Tumeric is used to season lamb and vegetables.  Here are a few more tips to use when cooking with Tumeric

  • Add a pinch to cooking oil before adding other aromatics such as garlic or rosemary
  • Sprinkle a little on various dishes to add color
  • Mix Tumeric with spices you already have in your kitchen and experiment. Turmeric boosts the flavor of rice, chicken, turkey, vegetables and even salad dressing.
  • Add Tumeric to your pickling recipes for an added zing.


Chakra of the Week: Muladhara

symbol-jumbo-root-chakra Muladhara


The Root Chakra

The root chakra is all about foundation. The various belief systems that have employed the chakras for millennia were all situated around the Himalayan Mountain Range. In order to reach the “Roof of the World” having a secure foundation was vital. There are a variety of Eastern belief systems that have different approaches and views about the origins and applications of the chakras. This post is general and is not intended to provide spiritual instruction.



Suggested oils to support the root chakra include;

The aroma of this earthy-sweet mist will realign your root chakra with the natural world and help you build a strong foundation to support you on your journey to balance.

•2 drops vetiver essential oil
•2 drops lavender essential oil
•3 drops bergamot essential oil
•2 drops cedarwood essential oil
•2 ounces distilled water


Blend essential oils, then add to water in a spray mister bottle. Shake contents vigorously then mist self and airspace to cultivate a mild yet earthy atmosphere that leaves you refreshed and grounded.

Suggested Yoga Readings:

A Beginners Guide to Mula Bandha: The Root Lock

The Myth of Mula Bandha as a way to support the spine while practicing yoga



History of Massage Therapy


The History of Massage as a modern phenomena or definable school of Western thought and practice can only be traced back to the 1800′s. Despite this, there are many references to rubbing with oils and unguents for health and medicinal purposes going back to around 1500 B.C. in China.

Many sources take this number back even further but at such a point, the historiography begins to get shaky and the evidence becomes isolated into fragmentary images depicted in stone or the odd text that managed to survive the ravages of time.

For instance, The Nei Ching or The Yellow Emperors Classic of Internal Medicine which describes massage, can only be reliably dated to 1500 B.C. but many scholars attempt to push that date back further to 2500 B.C.

Chinese yellow emperor internal medicine classic

The historical debate about Chinese origins centers on the Chinese custom of attributing new works to popular figures such as a favorite Emperor as a gesture of respect. I am willing to leave such historical speculation to others and choose instead to concentrate on the most reliable facts and figures.

Ancient Egyptian carvings also depict massage and Julius Caesar was known to have massage administered for neuralgia.


The ancient science of Ayurveda also advocates the use of massage and massage was common for participants in sporting events in ancient Greece. In ancient Rome, as in ancient Egypt, massage was offered to the public in bath houses and temple complexes as part and parcel of the process of relaxation and bathing.


You may be surprised to learn that there is no written definition of massage from ancient times. Early physicians advocated friction and rubbing of the body and while they did describe how to do this rubbing and why, none wrote a definition of the discipline. Greek physician Galen gave us a description when he wrote Hygiene, stating that ‘the rubbing should be of many sorts with strokes and circuits of the hands, carrying them not only from above, down but from below up, but also subvertically, obliquely, transversely and subtransversely.” Despite there being no professional definition, what we do know, is that people have been rubbing one another for a variety of purposes almost as long as we have existed and that the practice shows no signs of dying out.

Massage is a healthy and vibrant expression of care and compassion for ourselves and our fellow human beings. In the Western world, massage was part of movement therapy and gymnastics before it was adopted by medical physicians. Ambrose Pare and Clement Joseph Tissot both wrote about massage in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries but it was not until Per Henrick Ling arrived on the scene that massage as we know it began to take shape around advances in medical knowledge. Lings work combined movement therapy and gymnastics with soft tissue manipulation and became known as Swedish massage. In fact, it isn’t until the turn of the 20th century that the word massage comes into its own as a medical term. It was John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek Sanitarium who defined the traditional Swedish terms, effleurage, petrissage, and tapotement, as ‘massage.’ Despite this and many other early references to massage by Western medical doctors, massage is still regarded as a complimentary and alternative health practice or CAM by the AMA and not as a medical one. The standard-bearer for Professional Massage Therapy is the AMTA, which was formed in 1943 and is itself a partner with the American Medical Association. In 1992, the AMTA initialized the creation of the NCBTMB or National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, which is one of the primary organizations for certified massage therapists. A newcomer to the field is the FSMTB or Federation of State Massage Therapy Boards. The FSMTB also offers a recognized certification for its adherents.

There are many types of massage and I could not name them all if I tried! The most common therapeutic forms are Swedish, Sports, Deep Tissue and Neuromuscular Therapy to name only a few. There are more ‘exotic’ derivatives, such as Shiastu, Lomilomi and Reflexology as well as the more intensive varieties such as Rolfing, Trager and the Alexander technique which require separate and additional training. All fall under the broad rubric of massage.


The etymology of the word massage itself is fraught with political history. As it stands, Greek, Latin, Arabic, Sanskrit and Semitic origins for the word massage are all touted by various vested interests with axes to grind about why their position is the correct one and how History itself, is validated by their point of view. As an example of the seeming lack of consensus have a look at the following examples of the etymology of the word massage, all from online and verifiable sources.

  • Merriam-Webster @ French, from masser to massage, from Arabic massa to stroke. First Known Use in English: circa 1860
  • Webster’s New World @ French < masser, to massage < Arabic massa, to touch
  • American Heritage @ French, from masser, to massage, from Arabic masaḥa, to stroke, anoint; see mšḥ in Semitic roots or massa, to touch; see mšš in Semitic roots.
  • Collins English @ 19thCentury: from French, from masser to rub; see mass [NOTE: at ‘’mass’’, ‘’mass’’ is stated to be from Latin ‘’massa’’]
  • Chambers Dictionary @ 19th Century: French, from masser to massage, from Greek massein to knead. [question: directly modern Greek? or ancient Greek along unspecified path?]
  • Concise OED @ late 19th century: from French, from masser ‘knead, treat with massage’, probably from Portuguese amassar ‘knead’, from massa ‘dough’
  • Random House @ 1875–80; < F, equiv. to mass ( er ) to massage (< Ar massa to handle) + -age

I am not a linguist, but it seems that there is a great deal of work to be done when it comes to the History of Massage etymology, as there is no definitive agreement. But I am willing to believe that at least one of these dictionaries is correct. What interests my inner nerd about such issues are the implications of each position historically and how those positions relate to broader worldviews. I don’t have the linguistic training to discern the answer for myself, so I have to come to a conclusion by going the long way around. It comes from my contextual nature and the style of learning I picked up as a child who loved to read and discern big words from the contexts in which they were used. I know I may have lost many of you with this tangent and I apologize if so!

Suffice it to say, the history of massage is varied and vast and encompasses the history of almost every culture on the planet. My hope for Massage in the 21st century is that it will not be afraid to redefine itself as required to meet the needs of its practitioners and those who seek them out. Any practice that has survived for so long throughout and across history should not be relegated to the backwaters of Empire but should be embraced by the best and the brightest among us as offering something of tremendous value and lasting significance.


"Every person must choose how much truth he can stand." — Irvin D. Yalom (When Nietzsche Wept)